Mussolini's Rise To Power

Essay by ne1469High School, 11th grade March 2004

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It is correct to claim that Mussolini's rise to power in 1922 was aided both by conditions in post war Italy and the threat that the fascists would use violence to seize power.

At the start of World War I Italy remained neutral however after the Treaty of London was signed she joined the war on the side of the Allies as she was promised land. Her involvement in the war proved to be disastrous as she lost over 700 000 men and although she was given land after the war it was not in Fiume or Albania as she had hoped. The Italian people now had a feeling of resentment towards the government as they had not taken a firmer stand to these claims. Many Italians began to feel that Italy deserved to be given land in Fiume and so in September 1919 D'Annuzio led a group of volunteers and staged a spectacular seizure of Fiume.

This act failed however it bought about the fall of the liberal government and in the elections which followed Mussolini's Fascist party emerged. This was the beginning of his rise to power.

At the end of the war Italy's budget showed a deficit of twelve thousand million Liras. The cost of living was high and many soldiers were now unemployed. Taxes rose, Italy suffered a lack of raw materials and markets and she was using unscientific farming methods. As a result of this bread was scarce and expensive and coal was hard to find. At this time Italy had a democratic constitution but it was weak and divided and unable to cope with these post war problems. Fascism began to gain popularity as Italy was now in political chaos as a result of poorly organized coalition governments. The people now began to look...